STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Anriel Howard scored 29 points, Teaira McCowan added 24 points and 18 rebounds, and No. 6 Mississippi State rallied to beat No. 18 Marquette 87-82 on Thursday night.
Mississippi State (9-0) extended its regular-season nonconference winning streak to 45 games, but this was easily one of the toughest games during that stretch. The game was tight throughout the second half and the Bulldogs needed a late defensive stand to earn the win.
Howard shot 13 of 18 from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds, while McCowan shot 9 of 12.
Jazzmun Holmes added 13 assists.
Danielle King finished with 27 points for Marquette (6-2), which shot 54 percent from the field. The Golden Eagles had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but Chloe Bibby blocked a 3-point attempt by Natisha Hiedeman to seal the win. Hiedeman had 18 points.
Mississippi State closed the second quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 42-38 lead into halftime. Howard had 17 points and eight rebounds in the first half to almost single-handedly carry the Bulldogs. She shot 7 of 8 and five of her rebounds were on the offensive end.
The Bulldogs had problems with Marquette’s speed, and the Golden Eagles capitalized with 10 fast-break points in the first half.
Marquette: It was a terrific effort by the Golden Eagles, who gave Mississippi State problems all night in transition. In the end, Marquette simply couldn’t stop Howard and McCowan enough to win.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs got their first real test of the season and barely survived. Howard and McCowan were great, but Mississippi State needs to work on its transition defense.
Marquette travels to face Northwestern on Sunday.
Mississippi State travels to face Southern Mississippi on Dec. 14